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Help bring this short economic strategy board game to mobile. Create recipes or steal your friends’ to become the best chef in France!
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517 backers pledged $15,744 to help bring this project to life.
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It's Paris, and it's 1909. You are a master chef, just graduated from the city's most prestigious cooking school.

And so are your enemies.

Fish Cook is a game about cooking fish. You vie to become the best chef in France by earning money, prestige, and the respect of your peers. (And since it's based off of a tabletop game, prestige and respect are conveniently measured in money.)

Fish Cook is originally a tabletop game by James Ernest, and has been well-received since its publication in 2013, with favorable reviews from Gaming BitsPush Your LuckThe Dice TowerDice Card Go, and Blog Critics.  And now we are excited to bring to you the digital version of Fish Cook, including gorgeous upgraded art, fun chef avatars, AI opponents, and remote multiplayer support!

Concept of how local multiplayer will work, with one screen displaying public information and private screens for each player to keep track of their private information and inventory
Concept of how local multiplayer will work, with one screen displaying public information and private screens for each player to keep track of their private information and inventory


The game takes place over several "days," which are divided into a morning and an evening. In the morning, you take turns buying ingredients from the markets, and in the evening, you take turns cooking recipes. You can cook your own secret recipes, or you can copy good ideas from the recipes that have been cooked before. 

The strategy of the game revolves around spending your money wisely. The market price of each type of ingredient goes up as it becomes more scarce. So you need to make buying decisions that get your ingredients as cheaply as possible. There is also risk management: you can use a bigger fish for a smaller recipe, but you might have paid too much for it. And if you don't cook a fish by the end of the day, you have to throw it away. Is it worth the risk to buy a big fish first, and possibly waste it on an inferior dish? 

If you want to know more about the history and development of Fish Cook, James has written a designer's diary.

16K: Kaja and Phil Foglio are the amazing duo behind the fabulous, award winning Girl Genius web comic. Help us include these talented writers and artists as two of our Kickstarter exclusive chef avatars by meeting this stretch goal!

16.5K: John Kovalic is an Illustrator, Cartoonist, and Writer, best known for his online comic Dork Tower, and for being the illustrator of the popular game Munchkin. If we reach this stretch goal, John will be a Kickstarter exclusive chef avatar in the app!

17K: Steve Jackson is the creator of many games, and most famously Munchkin.  He is also well known for his role playing system GURPS.  If we reach this stretch goal Steve will be a Kickstarter exclusive chef avatar in the app!

17.5K: Boyan Radakovich is a designer, producer, wizard passionate about playing and promoting tabletop games.  He is most well known as a producer on Wil Wheaton's TableTop.  Meet this stretch goal and Boyan will be a Kickstarter exclusive chef avatar in the app!

18K: Echo Chernik, the award-winning illustrator, will appear in our app as a Kickstarter exclusive chef avatar if we meet this stretch goal!

18.5K: Rob Daviau is a game designer, best known for his work on Risk variants, including Risk Legacy, and for being the lead developer of Betrayal at House on the Hill.  He will join the app as a Kickstarter exclusive chef avatar if we meet this stretch goal.

19K: Professor Elemental is a steam punk flavored mad professor, who will be joining our campaign as a Kickstarter exclusive chef avatar if we meet this stretch goal.  He is also working with James on the campaign for Stuff and Nonsense.

19.5K: Tom Jolly will join the game as a Kickstarter exclusive chef avatar if we meet this stretch goal!  He is a great tabletop games designer best known for his work on Disk Wars.

20K: Keith Baker is a game designer who will be joining as a Kickstarter exclusive chef avatar if we make this goal.  Keith is best known for his work on the Dungeons and Dragons campaign setting Eberron.

20.5K: Paul Peterson will be a Kickstarter Exclusive Celebrity Chef if we make it to this goal!  Paul is a game designer (Smash Up, Guillotine, and others) Geek, and Dad.

We love tabletop games, and playing together in-person.  We believe that the experience of the tabletop game can be preserved while adding to it with the convenience of going digital.  As with a physical game, a single person can play their copy of Fish Cook Digital Edition with friends. Players use the free Jovios Controller app to view hidden information on their own phone, while the main view of the game lives on a shared device. The Jovios Controller allows you to view your own hidden information and look through other game information while other players are taking their turns.

Unique app features include...

  • Play the game in real-time, with all of your friends around one table, utilizing separate screens for public and private information 
  • Play online against your friends or random strangers 
  • AI opponents for single and multi player games
  • Gorgeous updated art
  • Fun chef avatars

We are hoping to make this the start of a movement towards digitizing many more great tabletop games. James has great plans for his games, and we have talked to other great designers about their games. This campaign covers much of the structure of the tabletop apps, and we'll keep it going as long as you keep wanting more tabletop apps.

To demonstrate how the app would work for local multiplayer, we have published an Alpha version up for you to try out. Get the free controller for iOS or Android.  Check it out!

As part of our campaign, we're pleased to offer several exclusive in-app bonuses and rewards to our backers!

Kickstarter Exclusive Celebrity Chefs: We've teamed up with several well known writers, artists and game designers to be featured among the character portraits that players select to represent themselves in the game.  The Kickstarter exclusive celebrity chefs are available to backers at the $5 level and above. These amazing people include:

  • Patrick Rothfuss, author of the award-winning fantasy series The Kingkiller Chronicle
  • Jennifer Page, actress and model specializing in sci-fi and fantasy films. Check out her Facebook page.
  • Andy Looney, designer of the card game Fluxx
  • These are rough concept sketches of what the celebrity chefs will look like for the game. These sketches, along with any other portraits we include, will be done by the talented Ann Green, an experienced portrait artist and illustrator. You can see some of her work on her portfolio

    Celebrity chef portraits are available to Kickstarter backers only! 

    Print-and-Play PDF: This is another Kickstarter exclusive. This will be a hi-res print and play PDF using all the new and improved art from the app.  The Print-and-Play PDF is available for backers at the $15 level and above.

    Original Art vs. New High-Res Art
    Original Art vs. New High-Res Art

    Beta: Help us make Fish Cook the best it can possibly be by participating in our Beta!  We will have logins for you based on the email address that you will need to provide to us.  Get early access to the game, be part of the action and contribute to the development of the app by reporting bugs and requesting features to make the game even better!  We expect to have remote play ready by the time the campaign ends (cross your fingers).  Beta access is available for backers at the $15 level and above.

    Coins: Campaign Coins made special limited-edition 39mm metal coins for the Pairs and Get Lucky campaigns, and we're pleased to continue this tradition of rare, high quality bling with our own Kickstarter exclusive Fish Cook coin.  The Fish Cook coin is included in backer levels of $25 and above.

    Fish Cook kickstarter exclusive coin design, with Pairs coin as finished example
    Fish Cook kickstarter exclusive coin design, with Pairs coin as finished example

    Fish Cook Print Edition: The original edition of Fish Cook will be available for backers. This version of Fish Cook does not come with dice or play money but includes 36 cards, two boards and 108 counters. The print edition is available for backers at the $50 level and above.  If you don't have your own dice or fake money to play, have no fear, we can help with that! Keep reading for more info....

    Fish Cook Print Edition
    Fish Cook Print Edition

    Cheapass Money and Fish Cook Themed Dice Set: We've joined forces with James Ernest to create a new print run of Cheapass money for all your gaming needs. Or you can just roll around in a pile of fake money. This consists of a total of 90 playing card quality bills.  The fronts include the characters from Cheapass Games and the backs are uniform, for when secret money counting is required. The Cheapass money is available to backers at the $75 level and above.

    Have or want the Fish Cook print edition but don't have any dice to spare? We can solve your problem with this dice set from Chessex, curated to color match the Fish Cook ingredients. Because seriously, who doesn't love to roll a giant handful of dice?!  The dice set is available for backers at the $75 and above.

    Become a Chef Avatar: Become a part of the game and work with us to create a personalized chef portrait. Send us a picture of yourself, friend, family member or some lucky person of your choice and we will create a chef portrait based on it. You can even help design the outfit and the prop that your chef avatar will be holding.  In addition to including it in the game, we will send you the digital hi-res version of the final artwork.  If you ever wanted a portrait of your pet hamster dressed as a chef proudly holding a pumpkin seed to hang and admire on your mantel piece, this is your chance.  We do keep editorial control to change anything we view as too inappropriate, as well as limiting the number of revisions.

    Add-ons

    • $5 - additional copy of the game for any platform
    • $9 - add the Cheapass money to any backer level
    • $16 - add the Fish Cook themed dice to any backer level
    • $5 - International shipping on add-ons if no physical good is included in your chosen backer level.

    Cheapass Games is a tiny game company in Seattle, run by designer James Ernest. They specialize in low-cost games that are funny and fast.

    James Ernest (Tabletop Game Designer): Founder, president, and lead game designer at Cheapass Games, he's responsible for a slew of tabletop games, including Lords of VegasKill Doctor LuckyPairs and Brawl.

    Cat Duo is the company behind Jovios, a platform that turns mobile devices into hidden hands to accompany the tabletop game, enabling a real-time, multiplayer gaming experience that you can play anytime, anywhere. We are also a proud member of the Kickstarter community, KickingItForward.

    David Geisert (Software Engineer and Project Manager): CEO, primary software developer, and product lead for Cat Duo. With a background in games, finance and management, he is working diligently on the app to create the future of games.

    Stephanie Lee (UI/UX and Graphic Designer): A mechanical engineer by day and a graphic designer by night, Steph has a strong background in product design and development at startup companies.

    Candice Trebus (Marketing and Community Manager): Social nerd and technophile with seven years of PR/Marketing experience and a passion for games of all kinds.

    We chose to crowd-fund this project for a few reasons:

    Tradition and Exclusive Collectibles: James Ernest has a fantastic history of Kickstarting his games, including Pairs, Get Lucky, Deadwood Studios USA and Unexploded Cow. We would like to continue this tradition of success and offering backers Kickstarter exclusive collectibles, such as the limited edition coin and celebrity chef in-app portraits.

    Transparency and Accountability: A major part of the Cheapass Games philosophy is to include player input in the game creation process. We wish to continue this tradition by being open and transparent to our backers and including them in the app creation process through frequent updates and participation in our beta.

    Grow the Jovios Controller: Crowd-sourced projects do an excellent job of testing the market for adoption of new and innovative products. We want to know if the public is ready for a new way to play mobile games. With the success of the Fish Cook app, we have a green light to develop more Cheapass Games through this platform, and develop the technology even further. 

    Risks and challenges

    We have made mobile games before and have experience from both independent development and large companies, such as Zynga. However, this is our very first time on Kickstarter. What we lack in direct personal experience in crowdfunded projects, we make up for with fantastic mentorship and enthusiasm. James has four successful Kickstarters under his belt, and has been an integral part of the planning of the campaign and the development of the Fish Cook app.

    Making a mobile game, especially a good mobile game, takes a lot of time and effort. We still have a lot of work ahead of us, but we are extremely dedicated and excited to be working with so many fantastic people in the gaming and geek community. We are completely dedicated to making this app happen, and will work as hard and as long as it takes to finish it to a high quality standard.

    That being said, with the celebrity chefs, this campaign has the potential to grow very large. As the project grows, there is the increasing possibility that certain elements (primarily the artwork) will take longer than expected.

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    Support

    1. Select this reward

      Pledge $5 or more About $5

      The Game and Kickstarter Exclusives: You will receive a full digital copy of the game on the platform of your choice (iOS, OS X, Android, Windows). PLUS the Kickstarter exclusive chef avatars.

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      Pledge $15 or more About $15

      Beta Level: Receive everything described above, PLUS access to the beta on Android, PC, OS X, or Web Player. PLUS the HI RES print-and-play PDF version of the game with the all new app-exclusive art.

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    3. Select this reward

      Pledge $25 or more About $25

      Coin Collector: Receive everything described above, plus the limited edition, Kickstarter exclusive Fish Cook Collectible Coin. Includes domestic shipping within the United States.

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    4. Select this reward

      Pledge $50 or more About $50

      The Tabletop Game: Receive everything described above, plus a physical copy of the Fish Cook tabletop game. This does not include dice or play money. Includes domestic shipping within the United States.

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      Limited 21 backers
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    5. Select this reward

      Pledge $75 or more About $75

      Everything you need to play: Receive everything described above, plus all the gaming components you'll need to make your physical Fish Cook gaming experience complete. This tier adds one set of Fish Cook themed dice and one set of Cheapass play money. Includes domestic shipping within the United States.

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    6. Select this reward

      Pledge $350 or more About $350

      Be a Chef: You will receive all of the rewards above, both digital and physical, plus we will create a chef avatar of you to put into the final version of the game! This chef avatar will be available to all players, not just the Kickstarter backers.

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    7. Reward no longer available

      Pledge $250 or more About $250

      Early Bird Be a Chef: You will receive all of the rewards above, both digital and physical, plus we will create a chef avatar of you to put into the final version of the game! This chef avatar will be available to all players, not just the Kickstarter backers.

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    Funding period

    - (32 days)